The California Blog: Beautiful Sequoia, The Magnificent Forest.

CSC_0447 copy

Recently I was visiting California. I’ve never been to the west coast before, so it was such an adventure for me. One of the places that I saw that left me in awe, that I will never forget, was Sequoia. This will be a little series of mine, about my Sequoia trip. As some of you know, we usually write about Costa Rica, but while my mother is away I will be sharing my experiences from my trip with you all.
DSC_0034
As we set off on out trip to Sequoia, I was really excited. First of all, we would be heading through  a semi desert. I was so excited because I have never seen anything that resembles a desert.Sequoia Ride.DSC_3164


After a three and a half hour drive, and a stop to drop suitcases off at the hotel,  we made it to Sequoia! Sequoia National park is located in the southern portion of the sierra Nevada, and it houses the largest trees in the world, along with THE largest tree, which all can be found between the elevations of 4,000 – 8,000 feet.  Though the largest trees; they are not the tallest (which is hard to believe after one has seen the massive size of these trees!) The tallest are their distant cousins called the coast redwoods. The largest sequoia (Sequoiadendron  giganteum), is named General Sherman. It is the largest tree by volume in the world.  It is 274 feet high and 36.5 feet in diameter at the base. It weighs aprox.  1,400 tons. and is estimated at being 2,300- 2,700 years old! Many of the sequoias I pictured are at least 1,500 years old, but sequoias can live for 3,000 years.  Only the bristlecone trees live longer than the sequoias, making the sequoias one of the longest living trees on earth. I thought that was really neat. It made me think: How many things have I seen in my life that are living after 1,500 years? None. It was beautiful and breathtaking.DSC_3257

Notice the people at the bottom right corner? They were so small in comparison to the General Sherman.

DSC_3268

Compared to the Costa Rican national parks which I am used to, Sequoia felt oddly full. Granted, it was the last week summer break. The paths were paved with asphalt, and it was a very easy walk down to the General Sherman. Many people visit with young children. The walk back up to the parking might be slightly harder, but at least you’ll be taking deep breaths of the pristine cool cedar air! It’s wonderful.

DSC_3200

I snapped a picture of this guy on the way up.
A SquirrleDSC_3191
I was so glad that I had decided on taking my wide angled lens when I was packing for California! I hadn’t be expecting the Sequoia trip, and I can only imagine how upset I would have been if I had missed out on the opportunity to photograph these beauties!
DSC_3282 DSC_3298_Fotor2
Because we had made the long drive there that day, we arrived in the afternoon. We decided not to waste any time and at least see the General Sherman the on the first day, and leave the rest for the next day.
DSC_3281

DSC_3283DSC_3273_Fotor2DSC_0013DSC_3240DSC_3247

From the entrance of the park, the drive to the General Sherman was about 30- 45min  along a winding road. I thought that from living in Costa Rica I’d be more than prepared for the road, but it even made me feel a little car sick. DSC_0027 DSC_3182
We were about half way down, back towards the entrance, when we pulled over so my friend could take a little break. She had been trying to read as we made our descent, and needed a little break to get rid of her car sickness. While she laid down a moment, I was able to snap a picture of this view.MPM Productions-Escondido Entre Montañas
DSC_0043_Fotor

We piled back into the car, and started out again only to find this little guy a little farther down the road

DSC_0041
It had been walking across the road when it was spotted, and we pulled over to check him out. A Tarantula!

Where I come from Mountains are a good thing 2
I snapped this one from the car window once we existed the park, and made our way towards the hotel. That concluded day one of the trip, come back for the next part!

Have any of you been to Sequoia? If not, leave a comment about your favorite National park! It can be anywhere in the world. If you’ve written about it, link it below! I’d love to  read about it. My favorites definitely have to be Tapantí (We wrote a blog about it click here to read about it!) and Sequoia.

Advertisements

When In Costa Rica Do As the Costa Ricans

DSC_0964

“When in Rome do as the Romans”, is one of my most used sayings. Why? Because to successfully live somewhere other than the country, region, etc. you were born in, you must learn to do things as the natives. If you are not flexible enough to adapt to this, you´re going to have problems.

DSC_0941DSC_2242

Social etiquette is different all over the world, what might be polite in one country is impolite in another. I have often observed my fellow Americans blunder through situations, in which, if they had observed what Costa Rican etiquette called for, they would had been better off. I´m not free of guilt in this sense myself, introductions being one of them. I have often tried to back track to correct my blunder.

DSC_0691DSC_1059

In Costa Rica it is important to acknowledge a person before you get into a conversation with them. As I stated in an earlier post, it is customary to say “Buenas” (Good Day) to anybody you are going to address, be it a storekeeper or someone your going to ask for directions. When I walk my dogs in my neighborhood, I will often pass guards, people walking for exercise. etc. who will say “Buenas, even though I have never had a conversation with them. I in return say “Buenas” back.

DSC_0899

If you see a person fairly regularly but are not socially connected a “Que tal?” ( how is it going?) is said, to which the other person answers “bien y usted” (good and you). An example of one of the people I say this to, is the guy that stamps my parking ticket every Saturday when I go to the farmer´s market.

DSC_0849

Running into a person that you know is more complicated. If you both are in a hurry a “Hola, como esta?” (Hi, how are you?) is called for, to which a “Muy bien, gracias. Y usted?” (Very good and you?) is answered. If you have time you can answer “Bien, gracias” (Good, thanks). If you stop to talk, be prepared to ask about any family member you know of that person, especially older parents or someone that is sick.

DSC_0898

I could probably write a book on this, because there are many subtle changes in many of these introductions, depending on the degree to which you know someone. This is just a rough outline. My point is, acknowledging a person is important in Costa Rican society and will open people if done.

DSC_0972

CSC_1113

I´ve included some pictures we took at a farm we went to see with my husband. When we entered, there were some workers cutting a sick tree and tall grass. Upon leaving we noticed the dead Fer-de-Lances, killed with the workers machetes. The Fer-de-Lance is an aggressive snake. It will bite cattle (which they had in that pasture) and is often killed because of this. I had my doubts as to if these were False Fer-de Lances, which aren´t venomous, or the real Fer-de-Lance. Unfortunately, the False is often killed because it is confused with the Fer-de-Lance.

DSC_0841CSC_0843

DSC_1070

Food is always offered when visiting someone, especially in the country, Costa Rican etiquette again. The tortillas were made by the farm´s caretaker´s wife. The corn was grown by them and the sour cream that we poured on top of the tortillas was from a neighbor´s cow. Something very simple but very good, due to the quality of its ingredients.

DSC_0908

DSC_0974